Health leaders in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are urging people to check their options for urgent healthcare over the Christmas period.
The festive period often sees an increase in people attending busy A&E departments but many of these could be treated more quickly and appropriately at one of the many NHS urgent care services which remain open throughout Christmas and New Year.
These include local minor injuries units in Bristol, Clevedon and Yate, which will continue to provide walk-in treatment for minor injuries like sprains and strains including on evenings and weekends.
More GP appointments are also being made available to patients on evenings and weekends and the GP out-of-hours service will continue to operate during the hours that practices are closed.
And for people who think they need urgent medical advice, the NHS 111 service is also available 24 hours a day and is free to call at any time.
Local GP and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) clinical lead for unplanned care, Dr Lesley Ward, said:
We hope that everyone enjoys a happy and healthy Christmas break, but if you do need healthcare urgently please remember that there’s a wide range of NHS services available to you throughout the festive period. By using the right service for your needs you’ll be helping us to help you, while also making sure that our busy A&E departments can focus on those who need them most.
If you think you need medical help urgently or aren’t sure where to go, call NHS 111 and they will be able to provide you with immediate medical advice and if necessary direct you to the best service for your needs. Emergency pharmacists are also available in all areas and can dispense prescriptions and other urgent items such as emergency contraception.